November 27, 2010
The northwest Arkansas planned community of Bella Vista (Benton County) began in 1915 when William Baker developed a summer resort on land he and his wife owned. Two years later, the Bakers sold the fledgling resort to the Linebarger brothers of Dallas, Texas, who sold lots for summer homes. Early success was tempered by changing vacation habits, the Great Depression, and World War II. The property was sold in 1952 and again in 1965, this time to developer John Cooper, who developed the area into a recreational retirement community that today has grown to over 17,000 residents. Shown here is a circa 1930s roadside sign.